Thanks to BookSneeze and Women of Faith, I was given two free tickets to attend a Women of Faith (WOF) conference in 2011. I was beyond thrilled for the experience as I have never attended a WOF event before and as a fairly new Christian, I couldn’t wait to be among thousands of other women who love Jesus like I do!
I asked my friend Kim to go with me. She and I have walked this journey together since almost the beginning. We’ve attended bible studies together, joined the women’s ministry, and ask/ponder many of the same “big questions”. It has been amazing to have someone to come alongside me over the last year.
Friday started off with messages from Dr. Henry Cloud and Sheila Walsh. And, of course, the WOF Worship Team, who sang their hearts out. The music was phenomenal! Friday night we had the pleasure of seeing a skit from Nicole Johnson (regarding the number of “hats” we all wear as women!), another inspiring message from Sheila Walsh, comedy from Ken Davis who is absolutely hysterical (I don’t know the last time I laughed so much in my life!), and music from the amazingly talented Natalie Grant. One of the most powerful moments for me was when Natalie led the arena in singing “It Is Well With My Soul.” Her voice is phenomenal, but when she went quiet and all you could hear were 8,000+ women singing, in harmony, I could feel the presence of God so powerfully. It was mesmerizing and so impactful.
On Saturday, we started the day in worship with the Women of Faith Worship Team. Messages from Lisa Harper and Angie Smith followed. I expected to be impacted by Angie’s story (she lost her baby girl when she was just 2 1/2 hours old), but what I didn’t expect was the message of Lisa Harper, who I have heard of, but do not know much about. She shared that she is a single 49 year-old woman, who had basically given up on the idea of having a family. But a series of circumstances brought her into contact with a young girl; a pregnant young girl. This girl has decided to give up her baby for adoption. And she has chosen Lisa to be the adoptive mom.
Those of you who know my story will understand how much this impacted me. I’m unable to have children. I’ve given up on the idea that I will have a family. And even though I know that God will not work in my situation the way He worked in Lisa’s, her story gave me hope that God really is working in my life. I may not see it or understand it. But, he will work things out for my good. I just have to TRUST.
More messages from Nicole Johnson, Luci Swindoll, and Sheila Walsh wrapped up the event. Music from Mary, Mary got everyone on their feet dancing and praising our God. The messages were amazing. I cannot even describe them adequately. I would be laughing one minute and crying the next. Every message hit my heart and convicted me in some way. The speakers were REAL. They weren’t packaged messages. You could feel the hearts of each woman.
After the event wrapped up, I was able to meet Lisa Harper at a book signing. As I told her my story (crying!), she gave me a big hug and gave me some beautiful words of wisdom that I will treasure forever. Thank you, Lisa.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Women of Faith event, I strongly recommend you do so. I will be planning to attend next year. I cannot see this event as not being a part of life. It’s amazing. The fellowship among other women; the ability to relate to the speakers; and the joy that we all experienced praising our God was a beautiful thing to experience.
I’ll end this post with some of my favorite quotes from the speakers:
Lisa Harper - ”We’re worth more than so many of us are living. Live hard. Love big. Dance in the rain. Live life like it matters.”
Sheila Walsh – “Have you ever told God the whole truth…told him your whole story? He’ll listen”
Nicole Johnson - ”The God of the universe loves misfits.”
Ken Davis – “Perfection isn’t a requirement- if we were perfect Jesus wouldn’t have had to come.”
Sheila Walsh – “Fair doesn’t live here, but Jesus does.”
Thanks again to Booksneeze and Women of Faith for your generosity.